Project Details 23rd UNESCO/IUPAC Postgraduate Course in Polymer Science

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 November 2018
End Date:
30 June 2020
Division Name:


To enable young university graduates and PhDs from countries with limited research facilities to acquire knowledge of recent advances in polymer science and professional skills needed for promotion of polymer science in their home countries and worldwide.

> link to info on previous courses (project 2015-046-1-400)


The Course is being organized annually since the academic year 1996–1997 by the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Prague, Czech Republic) – with financial support of the Czech Academy of Sciences and under the auspices of IUPAC and the Czech Commission for UNESCO.
The Institute has experience in postgraduate polymer science education of more than 60 years and offers up to date facilities for polymer science. The Course lasts 10 months and comprises primarily experimental work on research projects under supervision of Institute scientists, then compulsory lectures and laboratory demonstrations in modern polymer science, and also access to all educational activities within the Institute. At the end of each run of the Course, all of the participants report on their project results in a public meeting, where also a certificate including UNESCO and IUPAC logos is issued to the participants – new graduates.

The Course is now a global activity – with graduates from all continents except Australia and North America, represents a major educational activity within Polymer Division, and contributes to a positive image of IUPAC even outside the professional community.

The 22nd run (the year 2017–2018) has been completed by 10 participants at the end of July 2018.

The 23rd and 24th runs of the Course will be held during the academic years 2018–2019 and 2019–2020. The 23rd Course started in October 2018 and covers the 2018-19 academic calendar. The Course was awarded the IUPAC-Samsung Education Prize for 2005 and received again this year support from the Hanwha-Total fund.


New project announced in Chem. Int. Jan 2019, p. 40

The 23rd UNESCO/IUPAC Postgraduate Course in Polymer Science started in October 1, 2018 and finished in July, 31 2019. The Course was completed by 10 participants from the following countries: Mexico, Croatia, Tunisia, China, Ukraine, and India. The programme consists primarily of a research-project work under supervision by senior researchers and also of lectures and workshops.

The final reports of participants of the 23rd run of the Course were given at the international workshop “Career in Polymers XI”, which was organized by the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry CAS in Prague from 28th to 29th June 2019. The workshop was aimed at young scientists and PhD students at the start of their professional career and covered all aspects of polymer science – chemistry, physics, characterization and applications of polymers. Abstracts were published in Book of Abstracts, Workshop Career in Polymers XI., published by the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry CAS, ISBN 978-80-85009-94-1 —Download PDF.

As a part of the celebration of the centenary of IUPAC in 2019, we joined within the UNESCO/IUPAC Course in a Global Women’s Breakfast. The event was titled “Empowering Women in Chemistry: A Global Networking Event” and was held on a single day – February 12, 2019. At our local meeting with a subtitle “Women through the UNESCO/IUPAC Postgraduate Course in Polymer Science” we welcome 25 participants. As former graduates of the Course, three women at different stages of their individual careers talked about their career progress, motivation and also about the dissimilar opportunities for women in science in different parts of the world.

Cumulative results of the 23 runs completed by the end of the year 2019 are: 198 graduates from 24 countries; more than 500 publications in international journals, with more than 10000 citations and many communications at international meetings. Since January 2019, there have been 34 published publications in impacted journals (all as of July 2020). These data are collected for participants from the year 2016 to 2019, i.e. a maximum of 3 years after participant finished the Course (List of papers in PDF attachment).

Detailed information on the Course can be found at the address:

READ full 2019 report (PDF)

project completed

Page last updated 14 August 2020